Aeroflot considers LCC, aims to be one of Europe’s top ten
Aeroflot CEO, Vitaly Savelyev, stated the carrier may launch a subsidiary LCC, as part of its plans to dominate the domestic market (St Petersburg Times, 13-Apr-2010). Mr Savelyev expects the carrier to become one of Europe’s ten largest airlines, with 20 million passengers p/a, once six regional airlines (from state-owned conglomerate Russian Technologies) come under its control in 2011. Although details of the handover are not yet finalised, Aeroflot is reportedly considering integrating the other carriers’ operations with its own. The carrier may also launch a separate charter flight operator, while Aeroflot would remain a premium-class airline. The carrier stated it would expand into Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport new Terminal E, scheduled to open in 2Q2010, in addition to its operations in Terminals D and F. Mr Savelyev said the company may float some or all of the 19.5% stake in the carrier currently owned by Alexander Lebedev on the open market once a deal to repurchase the shares is finalised. Aeroflot has bought back 6.3% of Mr Lebedev's shares and plans to acquire the remaining shareholding. Mr Lebedev’s National Reserve Corporation last week stated that it may change its mind about the sale. Alternatively, Aeroflot could use the repurchased stake as part of the agreement to acquire the regional carriers from Russian Technologies.